Logo

TREES & Plants

Mugo Pine

Mugo pine is delightful, popular shrubby pine adapted for the home landscape. Plants vary in height, texture, and year-round color.  

Botanical name: 
Pinus mugo
All Common Names: 
Mugo Pine, Swiss mountain pine, Mugho pine, Creeping pine, Dwarf mountain pine
Family (English): 
Pine
Family (Botanic): 
Pinaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
Foliage: 
  • Evergreen (foliage year-round)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
Growth Rate: 
  • Slow
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial shade (4-6 hrs indirect light daily)
Tolerances: 
  • Dry sites
  • Alkaline soil
  • Clay soil
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Inconspicuous
  • Purple
  • Yellow
Size Range: 
  • Compact tree (10-15 feet)
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
Shape or Form: 
  • Mounded
  • Spreading
Landscape Uses: 
  • Hedge
  • Foundation
  • Screen
Time of Year: 
  • Early winter
  • Mid winter
  • Late winter
  • Late spring
More Information: 

Size & Form

A dense evergreen shrub to multi-trunked dwarf tree which varies in size from 5 to 20 feet tall and wide. 
Very slow growth rate

Tree & Plant Care

Prefers a deep, well-drained, loose soil, but also quite adaptable. Tolerant of high pH soil.
Best in full sun, but one of the few pines tolerant of part shade and windy sites.
Prune lightly for more compact shape by removing part of the new candles (spring growing shoots).
Easily transplanted, does not have a tap root.

Disease, pests, and problems

This plant is susceptible to pine needle scale and pine sawflies.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to mountainous areas in Central and Southern Europe

Bark color and texture 

Gray brown and scaly but does not peel. 

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Needles in bundles of 2's, rigid and slightly curved needles
Needles 1 to 2" long, bright green color with a serrated margin.
Needles persist for 5 years.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

No ornamental value

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

A dark gray ovoid cone, 1 to 2 inches long, held in clusters of 2 to 4, or found alone
Slightly pendulous, tip of cone surrounded by a darker ring.

Cultivars and their differences

Donna's Mini Dwarf Mugo (Pinus mugo 'Donna's Mini'): A dense low mounded, miniature evergreen reaching 12 to 18 feet high and 18 to 24 inches wide.

Enci Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo ‘Enci’):  This cultivar grows 3-4 feet high and 3-5 feet wide with a mounded shape

White Bud Dwarf Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo 'White Bud'): A 2 to 3 foot high and wide, low mounded dwarf evergreen. Dark needles have a white, waxy winter bud coating adding winter interest.